Listen to KCEA.

You’ll be glad you did.

27 July 2015 · Comments Off on Garden Notes · Categories: Personal Musings

If you look back at the photographs I’ve posted, you will see a number of pictures of bumbledy bees.

I haven’t posted any this summer because we have seen hardly any bumbledy bees.


If you are a mystery buff, check out the Phryne Fisher stories and the television show based on them. They are most excellent stories which lean more to cozies than to any other sub-genre.


When I was growing up in the days of Jim Crow, I remember my father’s going to pay his poll tax so he could vote.

As he was not-black, it was routine transaction. Also, as he was not-black, when he had come of age, he had passed his literacy test. Being white was all you needed to pass the literacy test.

The voter fraud fraud is the poll tax and literacy test in updated, modern Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.

Yesterday, I met someone who had the temerity to defend the Stars and Bars as a memorial that the soldiers who lost their lives defending the “Southern way of life” deserved. She followed that by arguing that the Civil War was about “economic systems,” not about slavery, conveniently forgetting that the Southern “economic system” was slavery.

She repeated the lies Southerners have told themselves and others for the last 150 years so as not to admit that secession was about slavery and nothing else and that the Confederacy was conceived and birthed to defend an evil, the lies that speak of “honor in battle” and dress the Secesh in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.

I don’t lose it often, but I lost it.



And I regret it not a bit.

Lies must be called out lest they live forever.

I have had my fill of those who dress the Secesh, past and present, in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes.

28 June 2015 · Comments Off on Huckster on the Hustings · Categories: Personal Musings

Bigots gotta big.

I got into an unusual conversation with my barber* at my recent haircut, which was on Friday after the gay marriage decision came out.

Turns out that she was raised Southern Baptist, as was I. We compared notes about Sunday school and memory verses (that’s a Baptist thing, or at least it used to be), how so many bits of the Bible contradict other bits, and how much deviant sex the Bible contains, from incest to adultery to you name it.

We also spoke of how persons pluck one phrase out of the Bible and ignore all the contradictory phrases that surround it, how they thunder about a man lying with a man even as they eat shellfish and wear clothing made of multiple fabrics (cotton-polyester anyone?), while missing the message of Jesus, which was love, tolerance, care, and forgiveness.

She’s not particularly liberal by any means–my guess would be quite the opposite when she is in the voting booth–but she can’t figure out why all the hate, why some people just can’t let other people be.

Our conversation didn’t get there, but the answer to “Why all the hate” is quite simple.

Hate sells. There’s always a buyer.


*This is the same barbershop at which I once got into a shouting match with someone who thinks that Fox News speaks truth. Shouting matches really aren’t my style; I’m more a slow burn kind of guy.

My only defense is that I was infected by the stupid.

23 June 2015 · Comments Off on Climate Change Is Bunk · Categories: Personal Musings, Weather or Not

Therefore the outside temperature at midnight is not 88 Fahrenheits and my two outside thermometers and the weather link on my sidebar over there —-> are lying to me.

Damned scientists.

Howsomever did they manage to suborn my thermometers?

21 June 2015 · Comments Off on It’s Not Right To Fool Mother Nature · Categories: Personal Musings

The only plants native to Southern California are cacti and tumbleweeds. Everything else is imported and irrigated. (The same goes, natch, for Arizona and most of Nevada.)

I used to have training gigs in Burbank. My Air America flight (Air America is now part of U. S. Scare DBA U. S. Airways) usually involved a change in Phoenix.

The flight from Phoenix to Burbank happened to follow the aqueduct carrying water stolen from the Colorado River to sate Los Angeles’s undying thirst for swimming pools and perfect lawns. Every time I made that flight, looked down on that artificial river through the desert, and watched as my plane cleared the mountains and started its descent above the swimming pools, irrigated lawns, and faux greenery of southern California, I thought to myself, “This is a sin.”

It looks as if reckoning is imminent.


Every week, the persons who do the yard work at this here condo spend large amounts of time blowing dirt and leaves around with leaf blowers.

They don’t gather them up, they don’t compost them, they don’t pile them up; they just blow them around, all the while using gasoline and making noise.

Leaf blowers are evil.

Worse than evil, they are pointless.

07 June 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought, Sunday Supplement Dept. · Categories: Personal Musings

Many years ago, when Parade Magazine first replaced This Week Magazine in the Sunday edition of my local rag, I thought that Parade was a big nothing.

Times have changed. Parade has shrunk.

It’s now a little nothing.

05 June 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

Facebook, Twitter, et al., are not “social” media. They are sociopathic media.

They like you only because you have big da-tas.

30 May 2015 · Comments Off on The “Marvel Movie Universe” · Categories: Personal Musings

Six-minute cartoons that are three hours long. Who woulda thunk?

27 May 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Question (Updated) · Categories: Personal Musings

It’s been a long time since I was a high school senior.

Just when did “senior pranks” become a thing?

Addendum, Later That Same Day:

According to The Guardian, high school seniors’ doing stupid stuff has graduated to a “tradition.”

Back in the olden days, when I was a young ‘un, we tried to hide our stupid, not broadcast it.


27 May 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Thought · Categories: Personal Musings, Politics of Hate

No right-wing Bible-thumper will think to suggest from Sunday’s pulpit that the flooding of Texas may be a sign from the Almighty that the climates they are a-changing.

Not a single one.

More »

26 May 2015 · Comments Off on Too Many Governments · Categories: Personal Musings, Political Theatre

One of the things that most confused me when I moved to Pennsylvania was the structure of local government.

As a native Virginian, I understood Virginia, and, frankly, many aspects of Virginia’s structure make sense, even as the persons who fill elective offices often do not. “Independent cities,” for example, are a great idea. Cities are not part of counties. Therefore, if you are in a city, the only jurisdiction to hold accountable is the city; bucks cannot be passed back and forth between cities and counties. If the governance of the independent city is incompetent, there is only one government to blame. If voters do not turn them out, it’s their own damned fault.

Pennsylvania counties are divided into townships and boroughs for no good reason that I could ever figure out (“borough” is a term for a “township” that is a little more urban than the surrounding area, such as Narberth, the wonderful place where I lived; it’s a “township” on steroids that, anywhere else, would be called a “town”).

After a while, I figured out that most local governance was provided by the township; that’s where I registered to vote, for example. As far as I could figure out, counties existed mostly to create sinecures jobs.

I did a little research and learned that, after the American Revolution, there seemed to be two schools of thought regarding how to promote democracy. One school advocated concentrating power in the hands of elected representatives as a way of guaranteeing “democracy.” The other believed that the more elected officials, the more “democracy”; New England’s town meetings are perhaps the extreme example of this.

Pennsylvania seems to have opted for the latter choice. There are lots of little jurisdictions with lots of elected officials (one of the elected officials was a “prothonotary”–never did figure out what that was, a notary with a big nose, maybe, though Wikipedia tells me it is what anyone else would call “Clerk of the Court”). I remember reading somewhere that Pennsylvania has over 44,000 state and local elected officials, second highest in the nation, though it is a middling-sized state in both area and population.

Now, a couple of decades after I lived there, Pennsylvania’s system of local governance seems to be collapsing under its own weight.

One thing is certain: No solution that involves reducing the number of jurisdictions or elected officials will be brooked. The number of Babbitts must be held constant.

17 May 2015 · Comments Off on Stray Question · Categories: Personal Musings, Too Stupid for Words

What’s with all the television mystery series’ ending their seasons with cliffhangers?

Do the big brains at the studios seriously expect that, at our Fourth of July picnics, we’ll be wondering how the September (or October or maybe even November after the college football season) opening episode of “Life in the Fast Lane” will pull our heroes back from the edge of the cliff or, for that matter, we’ll remember it at all?


13 May 2015 · Comments Off on Off the Rails · Categories: Personal Musings

I must have ridden across this bit of track hundreds of times when I worked for the railroad.

I was in a derailment once.

My buddy and I decided to take the old Night Owl to Boston for the weekend. We planned to leave Friday night, catch a night’s sleep in the sleeping car, and head back Saturday night.

Seems that, as the train left Providence, the coach behind the sleeping car derailed (all that means is that a wheel slipped of the tracks). Given that no one was hurt and no noticeable damage was done, the coaches were cut off the train and the engine, the bag car, and the sleeping car proceeded to Boston.

We arrived on time. As the Owl was an overnight train, there was a lot of padding in the schedule . . . .

I slept through the derailment.

08 May 2015 · Comments Off on The Fallacy of “Clinton Derangement Syndrome” · Categories: Personal Musings

There is no such thing.

There is only “Republican Derangement Syndrome.”

If Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were Democratic President and First Lady, Republicans would react to them precisely as they reacted to the Clintons, and, currently, to the Obamas.

05 May 2015 · Comments Off on Pedestrian Concerns · Categories: Personal Musings

I like to ride my bicycle, I like to ride my bike.Fuji Sports 10

And where I live is a good place to ride: the traffic is light inside the development, the streets are wide and level, and the drivers for the most part courteous.

Not so the pedestrians and the joggers, who seem to get stupider every year.

I can understand a jogger’s choosing to run on asphalt, rather than the concrete sidewalk. If you’ve ever gone running, you know that asphalt is a damned sight softer than concrete.

Nevertheless, all those heel-strikes seem to be having detrimental effects on their brain stems. Rather than running on the right side of the road–that is, the left, facing on-coming traffic, more and more of them seen to prefer the wrong side of the road–that is, the right–with the traffic. Heck, more than a few of them take their side of the road in the middle.

With their heads buried in their iJunk machines listening to God knows what or why, they don’t hear me coming up behind them on my silent hit-and-run machine bicycle. (I wouldn’t listen to something via headphones on a bet when I’m bicycling–I want to hear the cars coming up behind me.)

One of these days, one of them is going to veer right in front of me at the last minute despite my shouting “Passing” in my loudest voice, and I’ll have it all recorded on my handle-bar cam.

16 April 2015 · Comments Off on Don Quixote Was a Realist · Categories: Personal Musings, Political Theatre

I am receiving emails from folks who, thanks to an offhand remark by Jon Stewart, call themselves the “Warren Wing” and want to browbeat Senator Elizabeth Warren into running for the Democratic nomination for President.

Senator Warren has repeatedly declared that she does not want and will not run for the nomination. Who the hell are they to question that?

Also, as a practical political consideration, she can likely do more good as a Senator for many years than she can do as a President for no more then eight. Furthermore, browbeating is seldom a propitious tactic.

I suggest that the “Warren Wing” grow up, live in the Real World where real stuff gets done, and stop tilting at windmills.



One of the failings of many of my fellow lefties is the notion that the only election that matters is the Presidential election. This bunch should go “Warren Wing” themselves a few state legislatures and learn how stuff works.

10 April 2015 · Comments Off on uWatch Out Now · Categories: Geek Stuff, Personal Musings

Peter St. Onge considers the iWatch and rudeness quotient.

He has a point.

As much as I do love computers for what they make possible, I am appalled at persons who continue telephone calls as they deal with sales clerks and find a twits on twitter more important than the friends in front of them. Heck, some young lady with her head in a cell phone nearly collided with me as she cut a left turn too close (and too fast) at an intersection day before yesterday.

Smart phones wielded by stupid persons make for no good outcome.